School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province plan changes at St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – The School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province (SSND) are involved in a multi-year Integrated Implementation Process to evaluate province needs to fulfill the SSND mission, including a process of identifying options for the ongoing residential and health care needs of sisters and possible divesture of large properties.
“Through a process of communal discernment, consultation and study, it has become clear that we are now called to move forward in a concrete way with the relocation of our sisters at St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa, Mississippi, who are in need of independent, skilled, assisted and memory care services,” said Sister Debra Sciano, provincial leader.

St. Mary of the Pines Retreat Center in Chatawa, Mississippi. (Photo from diocese archives)

“To that end, we have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with St. Anthony’s Gardens in Covington, Louisiana, a senior living ministry of the Archdiocese of New Orleans,” said Sister Debra. “Moving sisters to St. Anthony’s Gardens will be a significant change, but it meets important criteria for us, including that it is a Catholic facility with a neighboring parish, Most Holy Trinity. We believe this option will be supportive of religious life and community. All of our sisters requiring assisted living and memory care will be in the same facility along with our sisters who are independent with services. The sisters requiring skilled care will move to the Trinity Trace Skilled Care, currently under construction next to St. Anthony’s Garden, when it is completed. Our sisters will be able to visit and be present with sisters in skilled care.” The first School Sisters of Notre Dame will move to St. Anthony’s Gardens in mid-August; it is projected sisters needing skilled care will move to Trinity Trace Skilled Care in February 2020.
The provincial council has also been in discussions about St. Mary of the Pines Retreat Center. No final decisions have been made at this time. Finally, the Saint Mary of the Pines property, other than the cemetery, will be placed for sale.
“Mission is at the heart of all we are and do, and it is central to the Integrated Implementation Process.” said Sister Debra. “Change has always been embraced as a part of the SSND mission to meet the ever-changing needs of the times. Change is always constant, even when difficult. These changes will ensure continued good stewardship of resources so the SSND charism, mission and ministries are sustainable into the future.”